Sorry, why shouldn't a chinese wuxia story be chinese - ness ??? I'll find it funny if it's English-ness heh heh heh, I guess you people understand what I'm trying to say...honestly I can't really describe.
Now...is there a translation of the .....Sword Stained with Royal Blood ?? Anyone have the chinese name for the serials...if i'm not mistaken, the serial is a bit dry.....otherwise I would have seen it .
Foxs's translation is very literal, there is a certain benefit to it. For readers with some knowledge of chinese, it allows the reader to get as close to the original text as possible. The more English-ness of the translation, the more the original meaning would be lost. But it does allow for easier reading for people who are totally new to wuxia. Also, it saved alot of time and avoid mistranslation. Sometimes, a single saying of 4 characters takes like 2 lines of english in translation. Not to mention when it comes to poems and ancient sayings, historical quotations, etc.
@crazee. Haha, I agree with you. Keeping original is the best way to go. For a person who is used to the traditional Chinese-ness of novels, I find it satisfying to read it that way. .
On the upside, Sword Stained with Royal Blood has a character in my "Great Female Characters in a Lesser-known Jin Yong Novel" list (with Ching Ling Su being the other one). She's easily my favorite character in the book. Moreover, most of the story elements Jin Yong is known for show up here first, so it's neat to see how they evolve over time.
Is what the official available translation what you mean by englishness ? Then Yucks..... it's not the real story line but a butchered version. I squirm when I read Xiao Bao called as Treasure and shuang er as..doublet....sigh....( my opinion so don't be mad )
I would say the additional notes are enough to help readers understand more but sorry, I normally do not read them....
My memory is fuzzy but I do remember the phrases "old chap" was by Minford when referring to "xiong di" or brother - how WXB calls everyone ge ge/je je (older brother/sister).
He also referred to the Buddhist monks as Father or Brother so and so. I don't know much about Buddhism but always got the sense it more about enlightenment through studies and isolation by separating from family/worldly affairs - using "Father/Brother" just seems inappropriate to the context of the religion.
Nothing wrong with that perspective but makes the reader conjure up images of Victorian England/rolling green pastures rather than bustling Beijing/rivers and mountains (jiang wu).
Last edited by smurf120; 08-21-12 at 11:39 AM.
Crazee, thanks for motivating me. I need it. Muliono, I believe Ren Wo Xing is spearheading the project of publishing the translations. But I doubt that he will include Deer and Cauldron, since official translation already existed. I am working on this story because, like many of you, am not happy with the official work: too much details are missing, plus the weird choice of words like you guys mentioned; someone said (and I agree), reading Minford did not feel like reading Chinese wuxia. Drak, the pace is not my problem, my inadequacy is. Anh, I won't say anything about future project. I love wuxia, and don't mind translating, but many things could happen between now and the completion of this novel. Ali, as Toasted said, I don't think that translation exists, not even a summary. Smurf, Drak, Chowbeng, thanks for your support of the 'Chinese-ness' of this work. As I mentioned earlier, I made a conscious effort to stick as close as possible to the original. I did not think about new wuxia readers, since again, the official translation exists. This is a special project, different from other translations, I mean, who would be crazy enough to translate something that has been translated? Even a friend told me so. But I went ahead anyway. So, thank you all, for letting me know that this work is not in vain.
All kidding aside, I know for sure Chowbeng and Toasted are Chinese literate, I dare say you guys are a lot better than me; why aren't you translating? In Chowbeng's case, why aren't you translating more? (I saw your name in the SITP list.)
Speaking about SITP, Smurf, I have not really looked at it, but from what I gathered so far, although the number of chapters are astronomical, the chapters themselves are a lot shorter than Jin Yong's chapter. Perhaps in term of overall length, Huang Yi's work is comparable to Jin Yong's major books. (Mind you, I have never read Huang Yi, so this is just a guess)
“Quickly go to the Zhuang house,” Shuang’er replied.
“Right,” Wei Xiaobao said, “Once we reach the Zhuang house, great luck, great profit. As the banker we can eat the leg vise, and make big killing on the three directions.” He turned around and ran. Pulling Wu Zhirong along, Shuang’er ran after him.
The sickly man was having so much fun playing spinning tops, the old couple watched their son with smile on their face. The four menservants and maidservants were clapping and cheering while standing on the side, watching their young master having fun.
Seeing Feng Jizhong was standing firm on horse stance, his left palm high, right palm low, in the style ‘Ancient Pine Standing Up Strong’, the sickly man immediately stepped forward and stretched out his hand to push Feng Jizhong’s right shoulder. Feng Jizhong pulled his right foot one step, hence his shoulder also leaned sideways to evade the push, but he did not dare to strike back with his palm.
The sickly man angrily said, “You are a bad man, you don’t want to spin around?” Stretching out his hand again, he tried to push Feng Jizhong’s right shoulder.
Feng Jizhong withdrew another step; to his surprise a burst of strong force came pushing the back of his left shoulder, immediately he lost his balance and amidst the sickly man’s loud laughter his body started to spin in great speed. He wanted to use ‘thousand-catty drop’ to stop, but the sickly man gave him another strong push at the back of his waist that he continued spinning.
Seeing the sickly man was giving his opponents trouble, Wu Zhirong realized a good opportunity has presented itself; thereupon after walking a few steps he pretended to trip and fall to the ground. Shuang’er pulled him up, but he was unwilling to get up. Wei Xiaobao was greatly anxious; afraid that Wu Zhirong would tell the enemy the truth, he grabbed his lower jaw and pinched as hard as he could so that Wu Zhirong opened his mouth. Wei Xiaobao pulled the dagger from his boot and swiped it in Wu Zhirong’s mouth, cutting most part of his tongue. Wu Zhirong fainted from the pain.
Shuang’er thought Wei Xiaobao had killed the traitor. “Xianggong,” she called out, “Hurry up!” The two of them dashed forward.
They had only run for less than a li when they heard the sound of hoof beats from behind, someone was pursuing them on horseback. Wei Xiaobao pointed to the rocky ridge to the left, the two of them left the path and scrambled over the pile of rocks. Riding on horses, the sickly man and one of his menservants soon caught up with them. Seeing the horses could not enter the rocky ridge, the servant jumped down the horse and called out, “Two children don’t be afraid. Our family’s Shaoye wants you to play with him. Come back quickly!”
Wei Xiaobao said, “To be a spinning top, laozi don’t want to do.” He ran even faster. The servant chased into the rocky ridge, but Wei Xiaobao and Shuang’er were able to run very fast, the servant was unable to catch up with them.
The sickly man called out, “Do you want to play hide-and-seek? It’s fun, it’s fun!” He dismounted; while coughing incessantly, he cut them off from the south.
Wei Xiaobao and Shuang’er turned and ran toward the northeast, rushing straight toward the servant. The servant pounced to catch Wei Xiaobao. Wei Xiaobao used the moved ‘Shen Xing Bai Bian’ [divine walk hundred changes] taught by Jiu Nan; he leaned sideways, the servant landed on empty space.
Shuang’er sent a backhand palm strike toward the servant’s lower back. Seeing she was only a little girl, the servant did not take her seriously at all, unexpectedly he did not even try to parry but stretched out his arm to twist her right arm instead. Shuang’er swiftly pulled her right palm back, ‘Crack!’ the edge of her palm hit his lower back. “Ah!” the servant cried out in pain. Right this moment, Shuang’er already grabbed his right wrist and twisted it backward. Another ‘Crack!’ ensued, his elbow joint was dislocated.
“Eh?” the sickly man exclaimed in surprise. Jumping from rock to rock, just in a few ups and downs he had landed in front of Shuang’er. With a sweep of his left hand he knocked the hat on Shuang’er’s head that her head-full of fine hair came loose. The sickly man laughed and said, “It’s a girl!” He reached out to grab her hair.
“Ah!” Shuang’er screamed; with the move ‘a pair of dragon return’ both her elbows struck backward. The sickly man laughed and said, “Good!” His left hand swept from left to right and grabbed both her fists, pulled the fists behind her back, and then with his right hand he pulled her long hair and coiled it twice around her wrists and tied it into a knot, while laughing aloud.
Shuang’er was so anxious that she cried. “Xianggong,” she called out, “Quickly run, quickly run!”
The sickly man stretched out his finger to jab lightly on her waist to seal her acupoint. “He won’t run away,” he said with a laugh. Tossing Shuang’er down, he ran after Wei Xiaobao, and in just a short time managed to get near him.
Wei Xiaobao fled to the east and ran to the west among the rocks, several times the sickly man almost caught him, but in the last moment Wei Xiaobao managed to evade using the ‘Shen Xing Bai Bian’ skill. The sickly man laughed and said, “Your ability in playing hide-and-seek is very good.” [Translator’s note: I know it should be ‘playing tag’, but the original was 捉迷藏, which the dictionary defines as ‘hide-and-seek’.]
Wei Xiaobao’s internal strength was lacking, after running around for a while, he was already gasping for breath. Knowing that in a short while he would be caught, he called out, “You can’t catch me, now it’s my turn to catch you. Quickly run, I am going to catch you.” While saying that, he turned around and pounced on the sickly man.
The sickly man giggled, and surprisingly enough he did turn around and run around the piles of rocks. Wei Xiaobao had already figured out that although his martial art skill was superior, his conduct was silly like an imbecile; his age must be over forty, but his behavior was like that of a child. Yet he was able to move back and forth among the rocks swiftly; Wei Xiaobao had just seen him on the east, in a flash his shadow suddenly appeared on the west; his lightning speed movement was indeed like a ghost.
Wei Xiaobao was greatly astonished, but also full of admiration. “I will definitely catch you,” he called out, “You won’t be able to escape!” Pretending to run after him, he rushed toward Shuang’er, picked her up, and called loudly, “Hey, even by carrying a person I will catch you.”
The sickly man roared in laughter, “Toot, toot, toot, you are blowing your conch, (cough, cough) … tweet, tweet, tweet, you are blowing your cowhide!” [Both mean: tooting your horn.] Carrying Shuang’er in his bosom, Wei Xiaobao pretended to run after the sickly man, but he ran farther and farther away.
The sickly man called out, “Useless little thing, you can’t catch me … (cough, cough) …” and ran a few steps closer to Wei Xiaobao.
Wei Xiaobao yelled back, “See if this time I won’t catch you. You can’t run away when you are coughing.” While saying that he struck a posture like he was about to pounce.
“Little demon!” the old woman angrily shouted from far away, “You dare to make my child coughing!” ‘Zip!’ a pebble split the air. Although the pebble was small, the sound was astonishingly loud.
“Aiyo!” Wei Xiaobao cried out and squatted down to evade. But he was still one step too late, the pebble hit him behind his knee and he tumbled down and rolled around, along with Shuang’er in his bosom, on the ground.
“Catch them!” the old woman called out. The other servant pounced on Wei Xiaobao and Shuang’er; he caught their backs, brought them to the old woman and tossed them on the ground. The sickly man giggled and clapped his hands and sang, “Useless lot, can only eat shallot, (cough, cough) … drop a lot, bonk, bonk loud!”
Wei Xiaobao was scared and angered at the same time; he saw Xu Tianchuan, Feng Jizhong, and the others were strung together with a long rope into a human chain, with one of the maidservants holding the end of the rope; even Wu Zhirong was also tied at the end of the chain. Everybody had his head hung low in front of his chest, their eyes were closed, it seemed that all of them had passed out.
The old woman said, “You, baby girl who dress as a man, where did you learn your ‘separating tendon dislocating joint’ skill? And you, boy, where did you learn the ‘Shen Xing Bai Bian’ skill?”
Wei Xiaobao was shocked; he thought, “This granny’s vision is indeed formidable, she knew the name of my school’s unique skill.” Thinking that since other people were able to recognize it, his ‘Shen Xing Bai Bian’ skill must have been trained to almost perfection; he could not help feeling very proud of himself as he laughed and said, “What ‘Shen Xing Bai Bian’? Did you say that I know ‘Shen Xing Bai Bian’?”
“Pei!” the old woman spat, “Your doggy leaps did not look like doggy leap, your crabby crawls did not look like crabby crawl; can it be considered ‘Shen Xing Bai Bian’?”
Wei Xiaobao sat up and said, “It was you who said ‘Shen Xing Bai Bian’, I did not say it. How do I know if it was ‘Shen Xing Bai Bian’ or ‘Shen Pa Bai Bian’ [divine crawl hundred changes]?”
The sickly man clapped his hands and said with a laugh, “You know ‘Shen Tiao Bai Bian’ [divine jump/hop hundred changes] and also know ‘Shen Pa Bai Bian’, ha ha … interesting.” He leaned over and poked a finger on Wei Xiaobao’s back.
Wei Xiaobao only felt a whiff of boiling heat stream from his finger penetrating his body, and the numb and aching feeling on his lower limbs immediately disappeared. He stood up and said, “Your unsealing acupoint skill is very brilliant.”
The sickly man said, “Quickly crawl. I want you to crawl in a hundred different styles; crawl like a tortoise, crawl like a frog, then you can call it ‘Divine Crawl a Hundred Changes’.”
“I don’t know any ‘Shen Pa Bai Bian’,” Wei Xiaobao said, “If you do, show me how to crawl.”
“I don’t know either,” the sickly man replied, “My Dad says masters of martial art should not simply learn other people’s skill, but must be able to display originality, must show creativity, only then he can be called a ‘master’. Dad, in the martial art study, is there such thing as ‘Shen Pa Bai Bian’ skill?” The old man frowned; he shook his head.
Wei Xiaobao said, “You are a martial art master. Since there is no such thing as ‘Shen Pa Bai Bian’ skill, you can create one, you can found Shen Pa School …”
Before he could finish, his buttocks were kicked by the old woman; he heard her thundered, “Don’t talk nonsense!” The old woman cast a sidelong glance toward her son, her face showed a concerned expression. Apparently she was afraid her son would listen to this youngster’s advice and really created this new skill ‘Divine Crawl a Hundred Changes’. She did not want her son to think too much; hence she asked Wei Xiaobao again, “What’s your name? Who is your Shifu?”
Wei Xiaobao thought, “These two old monsters and one little monster … no, one midsize monster’s martial art skill is too strong, Laozi cannot fight them. A hero must not suffer humiliation in front of their eyes, I had no choice but to deceive them. If Laozi pretends to be Wu Sangui’s friend, perhaps they will not dare to give me trouble.” His glance caught Wu Zhirong, and he had a sudden inspiration; he said, “I am surnamed Wu, my name is Wu Zhirong, alias Xianyang, a native of Gaoyou county in Yangzhou. Hot piece mama, before long my bofu [paternal (older) uncle] Ping Xi Wang will attack Beijing. If you offended me, Ping Xi Wang will not be polite toward you!”
The old couple and the sickly man were greatly astonished; they looked at each other. “Fake!” the sickly man said, “How could Ping Xi Wang have a nephew like you?”
“How can it be fake?” Wei Xiaobao replied, “There is no harm in you asking me anything about Ping Xi Wang’s household. If I give you one wrong answer, you can just kill me.”
“Alright!” the sickly man said, “What is Ping Xi Wang’s favorite thing?”
“Are you talking about object, or people?” Wei Xiaobao asked, “Previously, the person he loves the most was Chen Yuanyuan; later on when Chen Yuanyuan grew older, he was then very fond of a beautiful woman called ‘four-face Guanyin’. Nowadays, his most beloved beauty is called ‘eight-face Guanyin’.”
“What’s so good about beautiful women?” the sickly man said, “I am talking about his most beloved object.”
Wei Xiaobao said, “Ping Xi Wang has three treasures he loves the most. The first is a sheet of white tiger skin, the second is a ruby the size of a chicken-egg, the third is a marble screen with a painting of a tiger.”
The sickly man laughed and said, “Ha ha … you really know. Look here!” Unbuttoning his clothes, his left hand grabbed the front lapel of his long robe and lifted it up, revealing a fur coat he wore on the inside. The fur coat was white with black stripes; it was made of white tiger skin.
Wei Xiaobao was greatly surprised, “Uh, oh! This is Ping Xi Wang’s most beloved object, the white tiger skin. You … you … how did you steal it?”
With an air of complacency the sickly man said, “What do you mean ‘steal’? Ping Xi Wang gave it to me.”
Shaking his head, Wei Xiaobao said, “I don’t believe you. I heard my jiefu [older sister’s husband] Xia Guoxiang said …”
“Xia Guoxiang is your jiefu?” the sickly man asked.
“Yes,” Wei Xiaobao replied, “My tang jiefu [paternal female cousin’s husband]; my paternal cousin Wu Zhi … Wu Zhifang is married to him. My jiefu is an expert in battle, he is one of the ten great Zongbing under Ping Xi Wang’s command.”
The sickly man nodded. “So be it,” he said, “Ping Xi Wang invited my Dad, Ma and myself to drink wine, my Dad and Ma did not go, I went alone. Ping Xi Wang accompanied me personally, the ten Zongbing under his command all came, your jiefu ranks the first.”
“That’s right,” Wei Xiaobao said, “And then there are Ma Bao, Ma Dage, Wang Pingfan, Wang Dage, Zhang Guozhu, Zhang Dage; those are tops generals, expert in battle, great power and prestige, great aura of death!”
The sickly man said, “What did your jiefu say about this white tiger skin?”
Wei Xiaobao was determined to win his favor, he spoke without thinking, “My jiefu said, when Chen Yuanyuan was still Ping Xi Wang’s favorite, whenever she was under the weather, got cold or cough, people were saying that as long as this white skin tiger was used as a blanket, after three days under the cover, she would get well. She wanted to ask Wu … Ping Xi Wang for this white tiger skin. Ping Xi Wang said, ‘I don’t mind to lend you this blanket for a few days, but there is no way I would give this to you. This is the most auspicious treasure in the world, white tigers only appear once every eight hundred years. Even if it did appear, we can’t necessarily catch it, can’t necessarily skin it. If one has this white tiger skin in the house, when demons, ghosts, evil spirits saw it, they would immediately flee far away. When one is sick, no need to take any medicine, just use this white tiger skin as a blanket; a few days under the blanket, the skin will get rid of the illness. In the game of Pai Jiu [pai gow], the left gate is called Green Dragon, right gate is called White Tiger. Green dragon skin, white tiger skin, both are priceless treasures.”
Zhuang house, ‘zhuang jia’ can also mean ‘banker’ (in gambling); ‘leg vise’ (夹棍), I don’t know what it is, I am assuming it has something to do with gambling; ‘three directions’, usually there are four positions in a gambling table, denoted by east, south, west, and north, respectively.
Thank you so much for using your time for this translation!
Foxs - my heart will do a happy dance if you want to pick up the translation for SITP after DOMD/Deer in Cauldron is completed.
As for the story - I have never warmed up to this family (sickly boy and parents) in any variation or adaptation - they actually scare me.
Thanks foxs. I love how Xiaobao uses half-truths to half-convince random people of the most outrageous things. It only works because he always seems to know more about a subject than his [s]victim[/s] listener. In any case, he's awfully casual about maiming Wu Zhirong like that.
-It's shorter: a bit less than 2 volumes compared to the 5 of the Deer and the Cauldron.
-It's a much less well-known book, and it's underrated as a result.
-There's very little poetry.
-It can follow up Olivia Mok's translation of Flying Volant of Snowy Mountain.
-It's Jin Yong again, and some people may be tired of that.
A few years back, I did a bit of Gu Long's Horizon, Bright Moon, Sabre, so I know translating is hard work. Furthermore. Gu Long's work are far easier to do. The sentences are short and simple and most fights ended in one line eg The dagger had appeared! or The sabre has left the sheath! Jin yong's works are far longer and the language is far more difficult.
I enjoy learning more about Chinese culture and the translations on this forum are way better than official translations for that. Even the translators with perfect English keep the Chinese feel of these novels.
Thanks Foxs! Awesome translation as always.
Eagle, thanks for your support. Smurf, wh … what? Whoa, whoa, slow down Miss Smurf … I have never said I would translate SITP. I brought it up because last time you advised me not to take Huang Yi, since his works are very, very long, which Toasted has confirmed. Although I have not necessarily read the other (unfinished) translations in this forum, I like to browse around, and I know that SITP is very popular. I don’t think I want to spoil it. Toasted, I did not realize it before, but I guess you are right; Deer and Cauldron has a lot more colloquialism and classical allusion compared to the other books I translated (not too many, but at least I have seen the Trilogy and HSDS). Hence I feel that this book is a lot harder to translate. About future project, thanks for your suggestion, but I don’t want to think about it for now. Chowbeng, I have to check your work … It’s finished, isn’t it? Anh, I agree. By reading Chinese stories, we learn Chinese culture; this aspect, I feel, was lost in the official translation. Hoang, you are most welcome.
The old woman listened as Wei Xiaobao was talking with ‘living spirit, living image’; her son was sick, and that was her only concern. When she heard that when used as a blanket the white tiger skin was capable of curing coughing, although she was not completely convinced, deep in her heart she hoped that it was true. “Son,” she said, “Ping Xi Wang gave this treasure to you, your face indeed is not small. You made the skin into a robe that you can wear, it was very clever. If this white tiger skin can really cure illness …”
The sickly man frowned and said, “I am not sick; why do you keep mentioning it?”
The old woman laughed and said, “Yes, yes, you are as lively as a dragon and as animated as a tiger. These people are Jianghu warriors, but you made them into spinning tops or shooting stars, you are having so much fun playing with them.”
The sickly man roared in loud laughter, interspersed with several coughing. The old woman said, “When you go to bed at night, we must remember to wear the skin robe as a blanket.” The sickly man turned his head away, refusing to acknowledge her.
The old man pointed to Feng Jizhong and the others and asked, “Are they all Ping Xi Wang’s subordinates?”
Wei Xiaobao thought, “I pretend to be the old traitor’s nephew, it’s not a big deal; but to ask Xu San Ge [third (older) brother] and the others to acknowledge that they are Wu Sangui’s subordinates, they would never agree. They are hardheaded, I must not let them say anything that will reveal the horse’s foot.” He said, “They are my subordinates. We heard that Ping Xi Wang arises in rebellion, Prince Consort and the Princess are still in Beijing, they cannot escape. This Wu Yingxiong Gege loves to chat with me the most, we have the best friendship. I am taking these friends to Beijing to rescue the Prince Consort. Although it is a dangerous mission, all of us attach most importance to yi qi; this is called ‘going through the water and tread on fire, under no circumstances we will decline, knowing full well that it is a mountain of sabers or a forest of swords, we still want to charge through it.” These words were spoken with extreme vehemence.
The old man nodded. He walked over; both hands pulled several times, immediately the long rope binding Feng Jizhong and the others fell off. And then he lightly patted each person's back, twice, followed by massaging their back a bit, unsealing everybody's acupoint. One of the maidservants went over to Shuang'er and untied her hair from her wrists. The old man turned to Wei Xiaobao, "I cannot trust you completely just by what you said. This matter is of grave importance, you said you are Ping Xi Wang's nephew, but how can you prove it?"
Wei Xiaobao laughed and said, "Laoyezi [old master], this is difficult. I do not have my Dad and my Mom in here. How about this: let us go to Beijing and see Prince Consort. If he is arrested by the Emperor, then we'll go see Princess Jianning. I am sure Princess will tell you whether I am a genuine goods at fair prices, cheating neither old nor young, the real Wu Zhirong." He thought that when he got to Beijing, why would he be afraid of them? In case they really twisted his arm and brought him to see Princess Jianning, even if he wanted to pretend to be the Jade Emperor of the Heaven, the Princess would definitely nod her head and confirm that it was true.
The old man and the old woman looked at each other, both were still unconvinced. Wei Xiaobao suddenly remembered something; he laughed and said, "Ah, I know, I have a letter written by Ping Xi Wang. If I show this letter to other people, unavoidably my whole family will be executed unto the third generation. But since you are Ping Xi Wang's friends, there is no harm for you to take a look." While saying that he put his hand into his pocket to retrieve the letter forged by Zha Yihuang, and handed it over to the old man.
The old man took the letter, and read it under the dim twilight. Wei Xiaobao was still afraid they might not understand the letter, he tried to explain, "Desiring to behead the white snake and bestow a gale, all those things are talking about Zhu Yuanzhang ..." Since he did not understand it himself, as soon as he opened his mouth he had already made a mistake; it was a reference to Liu Bang and not Zhu Yuanzhang. Fortunately the old man and the old woman's attention was focused on the letter, they did not even hear what he was saying.
After reading the letter, the old woman said, "Indeed it's true, Ping Xi Wang wants to he Han Gaozu, Ming Taizu, and he wants him to be Zhang Zifang, Liu Bowen. Er Ge [second (older) brother], Ping Xi Wang said that the insurgence is for the sake of restoring the House of Ming; but judging from the tone of this letter, humph, he ... his own ambition is definitely not small." Casting a glance toward Wei Xiaobao she said, "You are still young ..." Obviously in her heart she was saying, "You are still a baby, do you think you fit to be Zhang Zifang or Liu Bowen?"
The old man folded the letter and put it back into the envelope. Returning it to Wei Xiaobao, he said, "You are indeed Ping Xi Wang's virtuous nephew. We have offended you much."
Wei Xiaobao laughed and said, "You are too kind, you are too kind! One who does not know is not guilty."
By this time Xu Tianchuan and the others already regained their consciousness; hearing Wei Xiaobao claimed himself to be Wu Sangui's nephew, and the opposite side unexpectedly believe without any doubt, they were all greatly surprised, but they were used to their young Xiangzhu's wily and mischievous conduct, thereupon they all kept silent.
Wei Xiaobao mused, "Laozi pretended to be Wu Sangui's son in front of that big beard Hantiemo; since I have been his son, what's the harm of being his nephew this time? Next time I'll pretend to be Wu Sangui's papa. As long as I can pull this trick, I won't suffer any loss."
The sky had already darkened, they were all standing in a desolate area, waves of cold breeze were blowing, the sickly man did not stop coughing. Wei Xiaobao said, "May I ask Laoyezi, Laotaitai [old madame], what is your respected surname?"
"We are surnamed Gui [lit. return]," the old woman replied.
Wei Xiaobao mused, "Why didn't you pick a good surname but pick the 'Gui' from 'wugui' [turtle, different character] as your surname? It's a ridiculous joke."
The old woman looked at her son and said, "It's getting dark, we'd better find a place to lodge, other things can be discussed slowly."
"Yes, yes," Wei Xiaobao said, "Just now when I was on that hill, I saw smoke coming out from that side, there must be a lot of houses, let us go to ask for lodging." While saying that, he pointed to the direction of the Zhuang Family's big house. Actually, this place was still about ten li away from the Zhuang Family's big house, separated by a hill; how could he see any smoke?
The menservants pulled two horses for the old man, old woman and the sickly man. The old woman rode with the sickly man, she sat behind her son, wrapping her arms around him. Wei Xiaobao and the others had their own mounts; they all jumped to their horses and left. The four menservants and maidservants walked.
After traveling for a while, Wei Xiaobao talked to Shuang’er loudly, “Go ride faster, see if ahead is a small town or a village. Find a big house or two and ask for lodging, and prepare hot water immediately. Gui Family Shaoye must drink warm ginseng soup. We will wash our feet first with hot water before eating and drinking wine. Give them a bit more money.”
For each sentence, Shuang’er said ‘yes’ one time. From his pocket Wei Xiaobao took out a big ingot of silver, along with a packet of knock-out drug. Shuang’er received both, and galloped away.
The old woman’s face light up; Wei Xiaobao ordered Shuang’er to boil water and warm the ginseng soup, obviously it was the things that she intended to do.
After traveling several more li, Shuang’er galloped back. “Xianggong,” she said, “Ahead is not a small town, and not a village either; it’s just a large house. The people in the house said that all the men in that house have left, hence they cannot receive guests. I offered them money, they still refused.”
“Stupid girl,” Wei Xiaobao scolded her, “I don’t care if they want to receive us or not, we’ll just go there.”
“Yes,” Shuang’er replied.
The old woman said, “We only need to stay for one night. They don’t have any men, can’t we just force them to receive us in their house?”
The party arrived at the Zhuang House. A servant stepped forward to knock on the door. After a long time an elderly maid came out and opened the door; she was half deaf, and she mumbled indistinctly on and on about there was no man in the house.
The sickly man laughed and said, “There is no man in your house, don’t you see there are a lot of men coming into your house now?” He slipped past her into the house, squeezing the old maid to the side.
Everybody followed him inside and sat in the main hall. The old woman said, “Zhang Ma, Sun Ma, go boil some water and prepare some meal. The host does not like visitors, we will do everything ourselves.” The two maidservants complied and went inside to find the kitchen.
Xu Tianchuan had been to the Zhuang House before; later on he heard Wei Xiaobao talking with graceful words, flowery speech, swindling these three martial art experts whose skill was deep and immeasurable, Xu Tianchuan was secretly delighted. Thereupon he took the Tian Di Hui brethren to sit on the steps, far away from the sickly man and Wei Xiaobao, so that they would not reveal the horse’s foot.
Pointing to Wu Zhirong, the old man asked, “Who is this fellow with bloody mouth?”
“This fellow is an official of the imperial court,” Wei Xiaobao replied, “We met on the road. Afraid that he might inform the authority on our whereabouts, we then … then cut off his tongue.”
The old man was quite some distance away from him, but looking at his eyes, it was obvious that he still harbor suspicions in his heart. This time hearing Wei Xiaobao’s reply, he was still half-believing half-doubting. Walking over to Wu Zhirong, he asked, “You are an imperial court official, aren’t you?” Wu Zhirong was already hovering between life and death from the pain, he nodded immediately.
The old man asked again, “You knew there was going to be rebellion, and you were thinking of reporting it, is that right?” Wu Zhirong thought that he could not deny even if wanted to anyway, plus he was hoping that this old man would save him; thereupon he repeatedly nodded.
Wei Xiaobao said, “He knew that in the south there is a military general with authority over military force who was going to rebel; this military general is surnamed Wu, and when he starts rising in rebellion, it will be desperately serious.”
“Is that right?” the old man asked Wu Zhirong. Wu Zhirong nodded. The old man did not have any suspicion anymore, his trust in Wei Xiaobao increased several parts. Returning to his seat, he asked Wei Xiaobao, “I wonder which Shifu has taught Wu Xiongdi martial arts?”
Wei Xiaobao replied, “I have quite a number of Shifu; one, two, three, altogether there are three, but I … I am stupid and lazy, I haven’t mastered any skill.”
The old man mused, “You haven’t mastered any skill, do you think I did not know it?” Yet he was still having a nagging suspicion about Wei Xiaobao’s ‘divine walk hundred changes’. Although Wei Xiaobao only used superficial technique of the said skill, his stance and footwork was no doubt the first-class qinggong ‘Shen Xing Bai Bian’. So he asked again, “Where did you learn your qinggong from?”
Wei Xiaobao thought, “He determined to know who taught me qinggong, he must have some enmity with that Shitai, Shifu of mine; I must not mention her name. He is of the same party with Wu Sangui, most likely he also have good relationship with Tibetan Lama.” Thereupon he said, “There is a Great Lama from Tibet, his name is Sangjie. He saw me at the Ping Xi Wang’s Wuhua Palace in Kunming, he said that my martial art skill is too lacking, I won’t be able to fight anybody, it would be better for me to learn some technique to escape, so he taught me for several days. I practiced very hard, believing that I was doing a great job; who would have thought that as soon as I came across you, Laogonggong [old grandpa], Laopopo [old grandma], and this young and vigorous Gui Shaoye, whose vitality is a hundredfold, it was completely useless.”
Hearing Wei Xiaobao complimenting her son as young and vigorous with a hundredfold vitality, the old woman was happier than if she was hearing any other flattering words; she could not help breaking into a big smile, and cast her glance toward her son, happiness bubbled up from the bottom of her heart. “Er Ge,” she said, “This past few days our child’s vitality seems to be flourishing.”
The old man nodded slightly; however, as he looked at his half-awake, half-asleep son who was slouching on a chair, he was actually very dispirited, he could not help but was very grieved. He turned to Wei Xiaobao and said, “So that’s how it is.”
The old woman asked, “How did Sangjie know Tie Jian Men’s [iron sword school] qinggong?”
The old man said, “There is certain Yuzhen Zi in Tie Jian Men [see also Chapter 27], who lived in Tibet for quite a long time.”
“Ah, yes,” the old woman said, “He was Priest Musang’s Shidi. Most likely he passed on his skill to someone in Tibet.” Turning toward Shuang’er, she asked, “Little Miss, where did you learn your martial art skill?”
The old couple fixed their gaze at her; it appeared that her martial art school background was very important to them. Being stared at like that, Shuang’er was somewhat flustered. “I … I …” she stammered. She was not used of telling lies, hence she did not know how to answer.
“She is my servant girl,” Wei Xiaobao said, “That Sangjie Lama also gave her some directions in martial art.”
The old man and the old woman shook their heads together, “Definitely not,” they said together with very serious expression.
Right this moment suddenly the sickly man let out loud coughing; the more he coughed, the worse it was. The old woman quickly went over and patted his back gently. The old man also turned his head to look at his son. The two maidservants came out of the kitchen carrying ginseng soup and hot tea on wooden trays. They stood in front of the sickly man; they waited for his cough to stop before serving him the ginseng soup, and then they distributed the teacups to everybody, even Xu Tianchuan and the others also received a cup each.
The old man drank his tea and was about to quiz Shuang’er further, but he saw she was already went to the rear hall. The old man stood up suddenly and asked Shun Ma, “Where did you get the water to make the tea?”
Lol Foxs - I was lazy about my phrasing and punctuation - it was actually more of a plea to finish the translation for SITP if you have time or choose to. You would be excellent at translating - I just worry you might lose interest due to length.
as always - love your work and daily pieces postings!
The Gui's are just so creepy!
Thanks a lot.
For all of us who follow your translation....well I suppose for every one who participate there are another few who reads without putting their comments....there's no doubt, you style is what we like and what we are comfortable with.
I tried reading some of the other translations in this site but somehow I loose interest after some time. even Huang Yi's X rated one heh heh heh
Well, I keep coming back for more in this thread.......so it's addictive....I suppose you should put a warning at the header....... WARNING, HIGHLY ADDICTIVE.
Thanks a lot Foxs, great read.
The Gui guys are kinda weird! and Jiu nan and Zhuang Family has some relation right? I don't know if the Zhuang familly can overcome them with kungfu alone, the Gui guys sounds like they are at least Thin/Fat Tuotuo levels (which was higher than the individual Shaolin 18).